Understanding How Social Influence and Social Networks Affect Electronic Medical Record Implementation (Connecticut)

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Summary:

Electronic medical records (EMR) have the potential to improve patient safety and quality of care; however, adopting organizations often do not realize these benefits because clinicians fail to use the EMR as skillfully and consistently as needed. While most studies of technology acceptance focus on individual- and organizational-level factors, the social network perspective suggests that clinicians’ social networks may also play a critical role in shaping technology acceptance and use. This project sought to test whether social networks influence clinicians’ EMR beliefs and utilization.

The specific aims of this project were as follows:

  • Identify opinion leaders and assess individual-level predictors of who is perceived to be an opinion leader in the implementation of an EMR system over time. 
  • Estimate the extent to which opinion leaders influence their colleagues’ perceptions and use of an EMR system. 
  • Identify and describe the specific behaviors and strategies through which opinion leaders influence others in the implementation of an EMR system.

A longitudinal mixed methods approach was used to assess the influence of social networks on EMR use. Surveys and interviews with clinicians found that beliefs embedded in clinicians’ social networks were positively associated with changes in beliefs about the EMR and use of the EMR. Additionally, EMR super users were more likely to improve their colleagues’ proficiency with the EMR if they were more proactive with their support, provided comprehensive explanations, and used positive framing. These results advance the understanding of social network influence on EMR implementation and adoption.

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Understanding How Social Influence and Social Networks Affect Electronic Medical Record Implementation - Final Report

Citation:
Yuan, C. Understanding How Social Influence and Social Networks Affect Electronic Medical Record Implementation - Final Report. (Prepared by Yale University under Grant No. R36 HS022201). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2015. (PDF, 367.9 KB)

The findings and conclusions in this document are those of the author(s), who are responsible for its content, and do not necessarily represent the views of AHRQ. No statement in this report should be construed as an official position of AHRQ or of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
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